Yet another angsty one-shot. This one isn't graphic, but russian roulette is played. Obviously someone dies. FYI. So if you get all pissy because it gets violent and someone dies, I'm just gonna tell you to read the A/N.
Right. Like I said, there's quite a bit of violence in this piece. Characters getting beaten. You've been warned.
This piece is based on Rihanna's Russian Roulette.
I own nothing.
November 20, 2012
Isn't it funny how fast everything you've ever known can change? Like, one second, you're just a normal teenager with your normal teenage friends going to your normal high school. And in the blink of an eye, you're hiding out on the outskirts of town with your best friends and your best friend's sister because the people you've known since you were three years old, back when you first moved to this God-forsaken city, have decided that they're fed up with Danny Phantom and his sidekicks and they want them all captured and dead.
Did I mention I'm Danny Phantom's sidekick?
I suppose it wasn't as sudden as I'd like to believe. There have been whispers for months now. We ignored it, thinking that they'll all get over it as soon as Danny saves everyone's asses again. It shouldn't be too long, Ember was due for her fourth come-back tour any day now. All we had to do was wait it out, like we always did.
I knew everything was different this time when Danny came into my room at three o'clock in the morning, in a panic, whispering that I needed to get up and go with him or else I would get hurt or worse, die. He was pulling me up, looking this way and that, and I asked him what was going on. He managed to murmur "Guys in White" before my bedroom door was flung open and my parents were standing there. They had these grim looks on their faces, that flickered to shock when they saw Danny Phantom with his arms around me, and then they quickly melted into fury. They told me I needed to give myself up to the authorities for aiding a criminal. Danny flew us out of there as fast as he could, while I just kind of sat there in complete shock. The Guys in White actually got my own parents to turn against me? I swear to God, they're animals. Absolutely nothing like those blundering idiots that put the Ghost Busters to shame all those years ago. Back then, they couldn't catch a turtle. But now...
They caught me, at least. I fell behind while they were chasing us around. I insisted on Danny carrying Jazz and Tucker, I told him I was perfectly fine running. We argued about it for a good five minutes before we heard the Guys outside. There wasn't any time to finish that argument, Danny just grabbed all three of us and phased up and out of the basement we spent three days camping in. He dropped me just outside of the house and we were off.
As much as I adore my combat boots, they are not good for distance running. Intimidation, yes. Punishment, yes. Escape? Not so much. I lasted about ten minutes into the chase, and I was just starting to think that maybe we would actually get away, when the toe of my boot caught on a tree root and I fell, face first. I didn't even have time to sit up before the Guys were on top of me, slapping handcuffs on. I looked up just in time to see Danny, Tucker, and Jazz disappearing into the woods.
And I took it from the frustrated looks on all of the Guys' faces that they weren't able to catch up.
I know, wherever they all ended up, they're trying to hatch a plan to rescue me. Especially Danny. He's been oddly chivalrous through this whole thing. He gave me his jacket one night when I was freezing beyond belief. He said he didn't really need it, what with his ice powers throwing everything off-kilter, so I could have it. I'm still wearing it.
It smells like him.
Anyways, I knew they were all trying to think of a way to get me out of there. It was useless, and eventually they would realize it. The walls alone are five feet thick, reinforced steel over concrete over steel. And then there's the anti-ghost shield around the entire perimeter. Danny wouldn't even be able to approach the building without getting fifteen-thousand bolts of electricity coursing through his scrawny little body. And then there's the fact that the Guys in White have increased dramatically in number.
They had me off in this little interrogation room. I had been sitting there for five hours, with my wrists chained to the desk in the middle of the room, staring at the door. I knew they were coming, I could hear them talking just outside the door occasionally. They were trying to come up with a plan.
Danny sat all of us down right at the beginning of this whole thing, and talked to us about what would happen if any of us were captured without him. He said that they would probably torture us to get information about him. He said that he didn't want any of us to suffer. He said that if we know anything the Guys in White are asking us about, we are to tell them without hesitation. And if we didn't know, we were to tell them that he refused to share any information with us. He said he could never forgive himself if any of us got hurt, or died, for him. He kept looking at me when he said that.
And I said "Fat chance."
They had not tortured me at that point. They brought me into that room, ran the handcuffs through a steel loop on the desk, and left me to sit there. I was ready for whatever they had to offer me. They honestly couldn't get any information from me if they read my mind.
"Manson." I looked up to see a large man standing in the doorway of the interrogation room. I didn't even hear the door open. We stared at each other, him through his shining black sunglasses, me with a rather bored, defiant expression on my face.
Finally, he moved, stepping further into the room and shutting the door behind himself. He took the empty seat across the desk from me, grunting as he adjusts it, before looking back up at me. "I think we both know what I want to know."
"Nope." I said, popping the 'p'. His jaw twitched.
"Where is Danny Phantom?" He said as calmly as he could.
"Like I would know." I said, glancing off to my right. "I've been in here for hours. He could be on Mars by now, for all I know."
I'm still looking off to the right when he hits me. I didn't even see it coming, there was no warning at all. He moved like a snake attacking its' prey. His hand whipped out, clenched in a fist, and connected with the left side of my face. I fell backwards with the force, just to be yanked forward by the handcuffs still connected to the desk. I slumped down, out of my seat, while I tried to collect myself and will the tears gathering in my eyes to disappear. I'm distantly aware of the fact that he's standing, his shining black shoes moving at a leisurely pace around to my side of the desk.
"I'm going to ask you again." He said, crouching down so that he was even with my face. "Where is Danny Phantom?"
"I don't know." I spat. He doesn't move, as if he's actually considering the possibility that I don't know where he is. And then I dig myself a grave. "And if I did know, I wouldn't tell you."
His hand comes down across my face again, this time on the right side, with so much force that the entire desk moves with me. My breaths are coming in heaving gasps with the effort it's taking not to cry. I wouldn't let this man see me cry. I wouldn't let any of them see me cry.
His hand closed around my throat, lifting me ever so slightly off of the floor, effectively cutting off my breathing. "Listen to me, you little heathen." He said, his face just inches from mine. "You will tell me what I want to know. Or you will die. Slowly and painfully, through the method of my own choosing. Do you understand me?"
I gather every ounce of rebelliousness I have in my body and spit in his face.
He hit me so hard the desk flipped over on top of me. He left me there, shivering, my face turned and tucked into my shoulder, breathing in Danny's scent in an effort to stay calm. I don't know if I could have survived if I lost my mind in that room.
After a while, my heart rate slowed, and I get enough of my wits about me again to stand and pull the desk back up. The chair I was sitting in tumbled back with the first hit, so with some maneuvering with my feet I managed to get it in its' upright position and dragged back to the desk so that I could slump down in it. Briefly, I wondered what the other three were doing, if they knew I was thinking about them, before I realized my left eye was swelling and there was blood dripping down my face.
Two hours later, a different man came in. He asked me the same question, and I told him the same answer. He had a taser.
The third man came in after six hours with steel-toed boots.
Finally, after eighteen hours of being in this room from hell, with pain radiating from literally every part of my body, a fourth man came into the room. He closed the door quietly and took the second seat without demanding to know anything. I watched him warily, through my right eye, since my left was almost completely swollen shut. He just sat there, looking at me. I felt restless.
"I've already told you guys, I don't know where any of them are." I said finally, squirming a little in my seat. "I'm sorry."
He still didn't say anything. His head was cocked to the side, and even with the giant sunglasses, I could tell his eyebrows were knit together. We sat there for another five minutes or so, just looking at each other, before he stood so suddenly his chair flipped over behind him.
I flinched, preparing myself for whatever method of torture he was about to unleash on me.
I felt him at my wrists. I looked down and saw he was unlocking my hands from the handcuffs.
The metal fell away, revealing angry red marks from where it cut into my skin, and he took his seat again. I leaned back, clutching my wrists to my chest, unsure of what was happening.
"I want to play a game with you." He said. I stared at him. "If I win, you'll stay here. Forever. We realize that you don't know anything we want to know. Phantom just doesn't trust a human with his plans." I rolled my eyes. "But he does seem to value you to some extent. If I win, you will die, and he will know. We will kill your human friends, his other allies, so that he is left completely and utterly alone on this earth. We will destroy any man, woman, or child that he calls friend or ally. We will chase him for the rest of his eternal life, to the ends of the earth and back."
"And if I win?" I asked, pleased that my voice didn't waver.
"I will die. And you will be free to go. We will leave you and your friends alone. We will leave Danny Phantom alone. Forever." He said seriously.
The room was full to the brim with tension. I pulled Danny's sleeves down, covering the marks the handcuffs left, before planting my elbows on the table and leaning forward. "What kind of game are we talking about, here?"
Wordlessly, he pulls a revolver out of his jacket and places it on the table between us.
I resist the urge to recoil from it. I just stare at it, before looking back up at him, blinking in my lack of understanding.
"Russian roulette." He said so quietly I almost didn't hear him.
I swallow. Hard. I know about this game. Being all morbid and what not. That revolver was glaring at me, promising me that it would lodge its one and only bullet in my head.
"Okay." I hear myself agreeing. He leans forward, taking the gun and popping the hatchet out to show me the single bullet inside. I count the slots. Six. At least it would end quickly, either way. He popped the hatchet back in and spun it, and I felt his eyes on my face through those sunglasses.
"You'll be going first." He said, pushing the gun toward me. I couldn't bring myself to take the gun. My limbs were frozen in fear. "Take a deep breath. Calm down." He said, almost soothingly. I glare up at him before looking back down at the gun. "You're playing for keeps. Just take it. Count to three."
I could feel myself sweating as my hands moved in slow motion. The revolver felt incredibly heavy and solid in my hands. I stared at it for a moment before taking it in my right hand and lifting it to my temple. Blood was rushing in my ears, and I am almost positive that he could see my heart beating in my chest for how hard it was pumping. I just sit there, holding the gun to my head, trying to convince myself to pull the trigger.
"You know, sometimes, it helps to say a prayer." He said, a distinct air of amusement about him. I shoot him the dirtiest glare I can muster, before dropping my gaze to the table. Something about that statement was wrong.
"You've done this before?" I whispered. I heard him chuckle.
"And I've never lost."
I pulled the trigger.
I heard a faint click and felt the tiniest burst of air against my temple.
Relieved is an understatement of the way I felt as I dropped the gun on the table and shoved it toward him. He grinned, took the gun, and without a moment's hesitation, placed it against his temple and pulled the trigger.
The gun was quickly shoved back in my direction. I stared at it, not wanting to move. I wondered what would happen if I refused to play anymore. Would he kill me?
"Your turn." He said firmly.
I took the gun back in my hands, bringing it down to my lap, and stared at it. What if this is it? I thought. What if I die, right here, right now, without saying goodbye to anyone I care about? Grandma, Jazz, Tucker...Danny?
I choke down a sob at the thought of him, probably hunched over a campfire somewhere in the wilderness, his face creased in worry and fear. I twisted my fingers around the fabric of his jacket still wrapped around my body. I liked to think that it was him surrounding me, protecting me from the Guys in White as they attempted to beat information out of me that I didn't have. How many sunrises am I playing for, here? I wondered, tracing the butt of the gun with my fingertip. How many birthdays? Graduations? Weddings? Funerals?
How many have I been to in my life? I wondered, glancing up to see him watching me, his face stony and unreadable. If I died right now, what would I have to show for my life? Christ, what am I even worth?
"Now's not really the time to be evaluating your life choices." He said, his voice low and dangerous. I looked back up at him, directly into his sunglasses, praying that I was looking him in the eye. I brought the gun up to my right temple, and, without thinking about it too much, pulled the trigger.
The gun skittered across the table.
"You know, you're very different than I thought you would be." He commented, taking the gun and spinning it on the table. I remained silent, just watching. "They told me you would be up, screaming, attacking all of us when we try to communicate with you. They said you were the dangerous one. You were the one in charge of Phantom's battle tactics. You designed all of his fighting methods." I closed my eyes and opened them, to find that my left was officially swollen shut. He picked the gun up, pointed it at me, and started shaking it, like a stern mother shakes her index finger at a naughty three-year-old. "You're not so scary." He said, chuckling at the perceived insult.
"I don't try to be scary." I said. "I'm just being myself."
He scoffed, pointing the gun at his temple almost lazily. "Didn't they ever tell you that being yourself can get you killed?" He said, shaking his head.
When the gun actually fired, sending him tumbling to the floor, I didn't move. I stared at the place where his head had been, now empty as he settled on the floor. I wondered if he was being himself when he died.
The door to the interrogation room was unlocked, much to my surprise. The hallways were empty. I got held up once, at the front door, when one of the Guys gave me the rucksack I had quickly grabbed in my haste to escape the basement four days earlier. He held the door open for me as I walked out of their headquarters.
The front gates opened for me when I reached them, down at the other end of the quarter-mile long driveway leading up to the front doors. I stepped outside, turned, and watched the gates close behind me. I stared at them for a moment after they stopped moving, before turning and facing the outside world. Their headquarters is nestled in a fairly secluded area of the wilderness surrounding Lake Eerie. I was at the edge of a clearing, surrounded by shadowy trees. The moon was high above me, stars barely visible for how bright the moon shone. I dropped my eyes back to the forest, scanning the trees for any sign of life.
A pair of familiar bright green eyes were watching me off to the right.
"Shawshank!" Tucker's voice calls from the brush.
"I'm gonna need a lot of rubbing alcohol for those..." Jazz's voice comes from the same direction.
Danny's the one to come forward first. He pulls my rucksack off of my shoulder, drops it to the ground by our feet, and gathers me up in the warmest, gentlest hug I've ever had. I heard Jazz whisper that we need to move out of plain sight, that we might be seen.
"They aren't coming after us anymore." I mumbled against Danny's chest.
"What?" The humor I usually hear in Tucker's voice was gone, replaced by disbelief.
"How do you know?" Jazz asked.
"I won." I said. Danny pulled away, holding me at arm's length, studying the injuries he can see. I tried not to think about what he will look like when he sees the injuries beneath my clothes.
"What do you mean, you won?" He asked. His hands were so warm against my arms.
"He told me that he wanted to play a game, and if he won, I would die, and if I won, he would die." They were confused, I could tell, but I just didn't have the energy to explain. "And I'm here."
"What game?" Jazz asked gently.
"Russian roulette," I mumbled. I was so, so tired.
"They made you play russian roulette?" Danny's shout was strangled. I could feel him battling the urge to burst through the front gates of the Guys in White's headquarters, but I put a hand against his chest to stop him. The sleeve of his jacket fell down, revealing the marks the handcuffs left. He pulled my arm away, studying the mark. He peered at my other wrist as well, before looking back up at me, jaw clenched. "Which one made you play?"
"It doesn't matter. He's dead now. And he didn't make me play. I chose to play." I sighed. "He said that if I won, they would leave all of us alone. Forever. So, you're welcome."
We started walking then, Tucker carrying my rucksack, Danny's arm wound protectively around my shoulders, tucking me into his side. Jazz continuously shot nervous glances over her shoulders, as if she didn't quite believe that we were really safe.
"What would have happened if you had lost?" Danny asked quietly as we walked.
I swallowed. "I would have died." I said as calmly as I could. "They would have made sure you guys knew I was dead. They would have continued pursuing you guys, until they managed to kill Tucker and Jazz off too." I kept my eyes on the ground. "He said they would have chased you to the ends of the earth and back, Danny. They were gonna kill everyone that you cared about. I knew that was true whether I played the game or not. And I couldn't risk it."
"You shouldn't have agreed to play." Danny's voice was low, almost a growl. "That was dangerous and stupid. You're really, really lucky that you didn't die." I remained silent, still staring at the ground. "I don't know what would have happened if you had died in there, Sam."
There was something more than anger in his voice. I glanced up at him and was a little surprised to see tears in his eyes. "Don't ever pull shit like that again. Okay? If anything like that ever happens to you again, you just...you wait. You wait for me to find you. Okay?"
I knew his nerves were a little frayed by the enormity of it all. I knew that somewhere in his mind, he realized that my actions were justified. He was just scaring himself with thoughts of what could have been.
So I just nodded. I was too tired to argue. I nodded and let my head drop down to his shoulder, ignoring the stabs of pain I felt in my body. Eventually we made it back to the campsite they managed to get set up. I wondered how they got so close to the headquarters without being caught, but I didn't care enough at the moment to ask. I just leaned back against the log, settled on top of my sleeping bag, and let Jazz clean me up. I could hear Tucker and Danny talking about how, even though it was great that the Guys in White were finally leaving us all alone, Amity was still turned against us.
"For the time being, I think we all need to steer clear of Amity Park." Danny said, his voice heavy. "Until they need us, which could be at any time. We just have to wait it out."
I closed my eyes. I wasn't sure if I ever wanted to go back, after the looks of disgust on my parent's faces. I knew my grandmother probably would have murdered them for even thinking about turning me over, but she was out of town at the time. Probably did murder them when she got home and realized what happened. I pushed those thoughts aside, focusing on the feeling of the wind on my face and the curses Jazz muttered as she found more injuries to clean.
"She's sleeping." Jazz announced a few minutes later. I didn't bother correcting her. I didn't want to talk to any of them at the moment. I just wanted to think. "Try to keep it down, okay? I'm going to bed, too. There's not much I can do without sunlight. I'll see you guys in the morning."
I heard her moving toward their tent, the sound of the door zipping closed, and Jazz settling in her sleeping bag. Danny and Tucker were quiet, and I got the distinct feeling that they were watching me.
"You think she's okay?" I heard Tucker whisper.
"I don't know," Danny said. I heard him rustling, probably shifting into a better position, before he murmured "She scared the shit out of me back there."
"Me, too," Tucker said. "I thought she was gonna pass out."
"Not just that." Danny said. "About the game? Russian roulette? Do you realize how easily we could have lost her? They could have said that she killed herself, and it would have been true. She would have died at her own hands."
"She knew what she was doing." Tucker said, but his voice wavered with uncertainty.
Danny hmphed and they were quiet again. I was starting to drift to sleep when Tucker spoke again.
"I'm going to sleep. Don't stay up too late, and don't beat her up over anything." His voice was light, but the warning was legitimate. I heard him move into the tent, and for a moment, it was quiet again. And then Danny moved.
I felt him sit down beside me, so close that his thigh was resting against my hip. I forced myself to lay still.
"Christ, Sam." He muttered. "What are you doing to me?" I waited. "Do you realize how scared I've been? I thought I lost you when I looked back and saw you weren't there. I...I pretty much lost my shit, there, for a while." He chuckled. "Tucker had to put me in the Thermos to calm me down. I...I lost it. And then when he let me out I almost hit him. But he told me that he thought he knew where you were, so we came here, and we've been here ever since. Y'know," I felt him shift, like he was turning toward me. "Tucker told me not to beat you up over anything. And I'm not, I swear it, but..." He made a strangled sound, like he was resisting the urge to scream. "If you died...if you left me...I don't know what I would do. I would...I would be so lost." He was quiet again, and I could feel his eyes on my face. "I'm only telling you this because you're asleep. If you were awake...you would probably kill me for acting like I own you. But, I'm just gonna say it so that I can get it out there. I feel like I do own you."
I had to fight hard to resist the urge to lunge at him and strangle him. "Not like...okay, I don't think you're my property, or anything like that. I just...I feel like...you're...mine. I think that's why no other guys ever try to hit on you, 'cause they know I'll strangle them until their ugly heads fall off. God, I'm so in love with you. I can't tell you how many times I've imagined sneaking into your room at night, waking you up, and running away with you. I don't even want to know how many times I have snuck in and just watched you sleep. Does that make me creepy?" He paused, like he was considering it. "I just...I came in once, to borrow some of the supplies from your first aid kit. I didn't want to wake you up, so I was being really quiet. But...but then...I heard you talking and...you said my name." He was quiet again. "My name. Danny." His voice was soft. "And the way you said it...wasn't like the way you usually say it. And I really wanted to hear you say it again. So I stayed. I patched myself up and I stayed, hoping and praying you would say my name again."
I opened my right eye by a fraction of a centimeter, peering up at him through my lashes. He was staring off to the side, chewing the inside of his cheek. "I just..." He huffed, covering his eyes with his hand. "I wanted to hear it again. So I kept coming back. I'm sorry, I know it's a complete and total violation of our friendship, but -"
I couldn't stand to hear him in such anguish. I just couldn't. So I did the only thing I could think of. I flung my left arm out, hooking it around his leg, turned my head to the right, and mumbled "Danny..." in the softest, most melodic voice I could muster.
He did not speak again. I felt his hands on my arm, and then my head, as he leaned forward and planted a kiss on my forehead. I hummed softly, making it sound like a moan. He kept his lips pressed against my forehead for a moment, his fingers running through my hair, before he leaned away. I felt him sigh and settle back against the log, bending his leg slightly so that I could tighten my grip around it in the night.
I fell asleep quickly after that.
Thanks for reading.